DOD CIO nomination stalled in Congress

The confirmation of Raytheon executive John Grimes to be the Defense Department's chief information officer has hit a snag over a company pension, said a DOD CIO official familiar with the situation.

Grimes’ nomination did not get voted out of the Senate Armed Services Committee July 28 after he testified before the committee. And the Senate did not vote on him to become the next DOD CIO July 29, the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

Grimes is eligible for a pension from Raytheon after he leaves the company. He wants to start drawing from it after he gets confirmed as DOD CIO, the official said.

Some senators on the committee believe that the Raytheon pension creates a conflict of interest for the DOD CIO because of that company's dealings with the Pentagon. Committee members are trying to work out a solution, the official said.

DOD officials in similar situations as Grimes have bought an expensive insurance policy from a U.S. company, but that company has gone out of business. The only insurance policies available are much more expensive, and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld believes the department or the individual should not have to pay that high price to serve his country, the official said.

Acting Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England, a former General Dynamics executive, is in a similar situation as Grimes. But England can serve in an acting capacity until he gets confirmed because he was previously confirmed as secretary of the Navy, the official said.

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